Letting Students Set Their Own Goals

Do you set goals for your students? I do. I feel like it is important to set goals particularly when doing big projects like we do in my class. There are all kinds of goals. There are short-term goals, long-term goals, and S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific-Measureable-Attainable-Relavant-Time-bound).

I started out this year setting daily goals for my students as a whole class. I felt I needed to make sure they worked until their goal was completed. For the first several weeks we sat down as a class and set the daily goal and a plan to achieve that goal. They put that information in the project log that I created for each student. They fill part of it out at the beginning of class. At the end of class they write down what they actually got done, and what they were struggling with if anything for that day. This way when they start class the next day they know where they have to start, and what they may need help on to complete their project.

Since our Christmas break, I have begun to have students make their own goals, and plans for achievement. I have found that students are taking more of an ownership of their work, and began to really take their goals more seriously. I think one of the reasons this is happening is because some of my students really enjoy seeing the plans for the day, and monitoring their own progress.

I feel it is important for my gifted students to have the experience of setting goals and meeting those goals. That’s a real life skill that they need to master when they are out in the work force. I also feel it is important for my gifted students to be able to break down their goals into smaller manageable parts. When students set smaller goals, it helps to set them up for success since those goals are attainable.

The ability to set small manageable goals helps to focus my students’ abilities and energy. They aren’t scatter-brained, and wasting time and energy. They can see the process unfold before them, and they can monitor their own progress though their projects. I also think this skill is a good strategy when dealing with perfectionism. Those gifted students who suffer from perfectionism who have mastered the idea of creating smaller goals, and breaking their projects into smaller parts will have success in controlling their tendencies.

Do you have students set goals or do you set the goals for the day?


One thought on “Letting Students Set Their Own Goals

  1. Pingback: RT @jeff_shoemaker: Do you set your #students #goa… | EducatorAl's Tweets

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